The Pokémon Company and TiMi Studios are finally restricting launch times for Pokémon Unite. The “free-to-start” MOBA is now slated to be released on the Switch in July, and on mobile devices in September. As before, the hook is the multi-platform game – you may end up pitching against rivals, regardless of the device you’re using.
The formula will be a little familiar if you have played MOBA titles like League of Legends o Dota 2, though with the expected Pokémon twist. Participate in five to five battles where you must collect energy by defeating Pokémon (both opponents and ‘wild’ examples) and dropping that energy into an enemy target area. Your creators evolve throughout the game, eventually learning a “Unite Move” that could tip the balance of a fight.
Several cards (or rather, stages) have variable rules, including team member accounts, game lengths, and mythical Pokémon appearances.
Of course, Unite will encourage you to spend real money. You can earn more rewards in the game through seasonal battle passes, and buy “Aeon gems” that can help you bring more Pokémon into battles or get items for both your menagerie and your trainer. You can also use free Aeos coins and tickets to win, so you don’t have to pay to unlock the content if you’re willing to be patient.
This is something of a gamble. How much of an overlap is there between the Pokémon crowd and MOBA, and will developers avoid typical MOBA pitfalls such as steep learning curves? However, this could be attractive if you want an experience in the Pokémon universe that is venturing beyond experiences focused on a player ou gameplay based on location Pokémon Go.
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